I don’t exactly know why I enjoy sushi so much. Had never eaten any until I left Tennessee to go to college in Florida. And thirty some years ago, there weren’t sushi restaurants on almost every corner as there are now.
As I live in the large cosmopolitan metropolis of Atlanta, the plethora of choices to have good sushi is astounding. Even grocery stores like Publix and Whole Foods carry an abundance. (Don’t knock Publix sushi. It ain’t half bad!)
I worked on a show on the west Coast of Japan for three and a half months in the early nineties. Having great sushi and sashimi there was a given. Everything I ate was fresh and right out of the water. (We Americans always think we can do things better. I don’t ever remember seeing a Japanese person using chopsticks to eat a sushi roll. Sashimi, yes. But they use their hands to pick up and eat sushi. Makes sense to me. But, hey, I grab the chopsticks as soon as I sit down in the restaurant.)
After living in Japan, and not eating all of the corn syrup and refined sugar that is in every bit of processed food here at home, my palate became better at discerning the inherent sweetness in more foods. There is a gentleness and sweetness in salmon. You have to pause to taste it. (I admit the first bean paste treat I tasted in Japan was not appealing to me at all. Why the hell do they think this is sweet? But after a few weeks on no refined sugars, I got it! The gorgeous and beautiful bean paste flavored desserts had a subtle and delicate sweetness that was so pleasing.)
I think those that don’t enjoy sushi have never really tried it. If fish tastes fishy or smells fishy, it just came out of murky water, has not been cleaned well, has just been sitting out too long or is just bad. Avoid it like the plague! Fresh fish tastes slightly briny and has subtle mineral flavors that are delicate and delicious.
I tried to get my father to try some once and he balked instantly. I always laugh when I think of him referring to sushi as bait.
Do you enjoy sushi and sashimi? What’s your favorite? Comment below.